Monday, October 22, 2007
New Perspectives, Part One. The Strength Within
Last week was all about flying at our house. The Monarch migration started the theme. Later, The Pilot Guy got to fly a new (to him) aircraft and I got to go with him. The week finished with a thrilling display from the Blue Angels at a nearby airport.
As I posted last week about the Monarchs, I'm inspired by their journey. So small and the distance they travel is immense. Fueled by two small sets of wings and nectar, they travel hundreds of miles. Incredible. It gives me a new picture of the phrase 'a wing and a prayer.' I'm reminded that so much of what we need to be, we already have inside ourselves, whether we are caterpillars just starting out or transformed butterflies. No new fancy equipment needed.
Just do it.
Whatever *it* is. Use what you have and already know. Which means I don't need another book on how to write a novel, design a garden or sew a quilt. I have a shelves full of writing, gardening, and quilting books. In fact, because I've studied these subjects for the last few years, I have enough knowledge in my head to do them well. Just doing it, that's the key. Do I still have things to learn? Of course. But, for now, I can create with what is within me. I need to trust myself.
Once, at a small photography workshop, a man expressed dissatisfaction with the teachings of our mentor. While M. N. was out of the room, the photographer said that he had hoped M.N. would tell us about a new lens or a new gadget for our cameras that would make our photography better. Creativity as something we can buy seemed to be what he wanted. I, a wide-eyed 23 year old, knew he was off the mark, but didn't know how to articulate it. A later mentor, the terrific Charles J. Lewis, reaffirmed that it is not the camera, but the photographer who makes the difference in the work. Study. Learn your craft. Learn the rules. Once learned, break them. And break them with flair and pizzaz.
But the key to the art is your own heart.
Our work, our creativity, is within us. Our task is to mine it out of our hearts the way diamond hunters unearth gems. From the sweat, dirt, and even blood, comes beauty. When artists of any medium display temperment, I believe it is because what we feel in our hearts and see in our minds cannot be fully translated onto paper or fabric, canvas or glass.
Be kind to the artist within you. Be alert to the nuances of your craft. Feel the passion in your art, whatever your art medium may be. Grow with it. Try something, ANYTHING, new.
Stretch your wings on the breeze, gather a sip of nectar, and fly.